A 9-year-old boy from New Jersey will finally get the only Christmas gift he's ever wanted this year: An ear.
Masyn Ortiz, of Jackson, was born missing an outer ear on his right side due to conditions called microtia and atresia.
Last Friday, he underwent the first of two, free life-changing surgeries at New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital (featured in a Netflix docu-series released last Spring).
The new ear will not only improve his looks but will also give him the gift of hearing, thanks to Lenox Hill and children's charity "The Little Baby Face Foundation."
"It'll be the best gift he gets this year," his mom Nicole Oritz said.
Lenox Hill Director of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery Dr. Thomas Romo harvested several pieces of Masyn's front ribs.
Romo, also the LBFF founder, carved a custom ear from the cartilage in one, single procedure.
The result? An ear, indistinguishable from a real one.
Once Masyn heals from this surgery in three to six months, he will undergo another procedure to insert a state-of-the-art hearing device, so he can look, feel and hear like any other kid.
He will also be able to cut his hair short (he currently wears it long because he's self conscious about his ear) and comfortably wear his glasses. He wants box braids, "like Travis Scott," he said.
The surgical procedures, which are not covered by insurance, would have been prohibitively expensive to the Ortiz family if they had to pay out-of-pocket.
Luckily, Masyn's grandmother happened to see a TV program featuring Dr. Romo and his parents reached out to the foundation for help.
The doctor, who has improved the lives of countless children born with facial deformities by donating his time and skills, was more than happy to make Masyn's wish come true for the holidays.
So, while other kids we'll be getting toys from Santa Claus this Christmas, Masyn is getting his miracle ear -- from a surgeon who actually looks a bit like Santa: Tall, bearded, jolly and on a mission to make kids happy.
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